By Harsha Amarasinghe
Roshan Weeraratne is set to make his first appearance of the ongoing Dialog Rugby League Tournament having recovered from an injury as Head Coach Fazil Marija named him as the starting Scrum-Half for their second away game of the season against CR & FC at Longdon place today.
The 29-year-old looked certain to be the first choice Scrum-Half after a strong showing last season, but was ruled out for few weeks before the start of this season having picked up a knee injury in training.
Meanwhile, former CR Captain Kavindu Perera and Vice Captain Tarinda Ratwatte will start for Kandy SC in the top of the table clash which would also be the first match at the Longdon Place for the duo after leaving the club at the end of last season.
Perera who missed Kandy’s week four game with an injury has been recalled to the first XV in place of Diluksha Dange who was in red-hot form against Police SC, scoring a double.
With Kandy’s first choice place kicker Thilina Wijesinghe unable to play, Ratwatte without any doubt would take the kicks against his former club.
Hooker Damith Dissanayake has been preferred over injured Yakoob Ali in the front row, and will continue to play alongside Lasitha Attanagoda and Ganuka Dissanayake while Suhiru Anthony will line up with Shehan Pathirana in the second row.
CR head coach Dushantha Lewke has stuck to pretty much the same side all season along, but second row Fadil Adahan – a former Royalist who went on to win the Inter-School League title under Lewke – has been named in the second row along with Panduka Angammana.
According to the CR team management their 7s Superstars Kevin Dixon and Reeza Raffaideen are expected to start on the bench with Sandun Herath and Gemunu Chethiya keeping their spots in the starting line-up.
Kandy Winger Buddhima Piyarathne and CR Centre Janidu Dilshan are the highest try scorers of the season thus far having scored four tries each.
CR XV: Gayan Jayasekara, Supun Waranakulasooriya, Himantha Hirushan, Panduka Angammana, Fadil Adahan, Mithila Perera, Joel Perera, Omalka Gunarathne (c), Kavindu de Costa and Chanaka Chandimal, Gemunu Chethiya, Dinuk Amarasinghe, Janidu Dilshan, Sandun Herath, Riza Mubarak
Kandy XV: Lasitha Attanagoda, Damith Dissanayake, Ganuka Dissanayake, Suhiru Anthony, Shehan Pathirana, Tharindu Chathuranga, Jason Dissanayake, Buwaneka Udangamuwa, Roshan Weeraratne and Nigel Ratwatte (c), Buddhima Piyarathne, Tarinda Ratwatte, Lavanga Perera, Kavindu Perera, Danusha Dayan